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  1. #1
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    Whether to go back or not?

    I went to Colorado elk hunting for the first time.
    I had a tag for Unit 8 along with three other guys. Two had tags for 191.
    I hunted Saturday evening through Thursday morning at about 9 when we drove home.
    I saw about 100 elk over the week. Only one other guy saw a branch antlered bull the entire time.
    I feel like my group could have hunted harder than it did and seen more. The two 191 guys saw nothing in their unit.
    I saw about five branch antlered bulls but could not close the deal. 400 yards felt like too far for me. I like DRT's.
    I could have taken cows and spikes easily.
    I was admittedly greedy and tried to get the six point when other legal bulls were closer.
    I paid about 2200 total for the experience. Gas, food, lodging, tags, access fees. All in was about 2200

    I am seeking comparisons/thoughts/ideas on that experience and will welcome all thoughts.
    I was satisfied, quite. It was fun and I had a great time.
    I want to know if I should set my sights higher and differently or go back there.
    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't be too disappointed. First time there.....saw plenty of elk and ,could have filled your tag with a legal bull and spent about $2200. I'd call that PRETTY GOOD. The big thing is now you know the area and where you saw the animals. Me....I'd go back in a heartbeat.
    Colorado Cowboy
    Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA
    The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
    "My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
    Aldous Huxley

  3. #3
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    What CC said. The success rate on bulls in Colorado is around 15%. You could've filled your tag. I'd go back.

  4. #4
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    I would go back. You could build points for better units and in the mean time still hunt to fill the freezer.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, that is generally what my thoughts are as well. I just wonder what the collective thinking is. I am not disappointed, at all. I had a great trip. Others in my group had different thoughts on what this experience would be and should be like. I felt like if we saw elk and got a shot or two, that would be successful. We did.

    It was the first trip for all of us and so without a barometer of what it should look like, I reached out to you guys. Thanks.

    More opinions are welcome but this generally tracks with my thinking.

  6. #6
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    I am assuming the tag is fairly easy to get but I would definitely go back! You had a good time and saw some elk, besides you are getting to know the area which will help alot next time. Dont worry about what it costs. Out of state hunting is not cheap no matter how you do it and if you enjoyed your time there thats what matters!

  7. #7
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    You spent a week in the mountains, had a good time and saw some elk that you had opportunity at - you bet I'd go back! Can't ask for much more than that. I had to sit this year out but I'm already dreaming of chasing elk and sucking down that thin mountain air
    next year....only 11 more months!

  8. #8
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    Thanks Musket, I was thinking of spending more actually but not sure what I'd get for that additional expenditure.

    The question is not whether I go elk hunting again, that is a given. The question is where. I think what I found is pretty good and you guys seem to be thinking the same. I appreciate that perspective, a lot.

  9. #9
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    Since you were consistently into the elk, you are WAY up the learning curve. Go back. Your experience is NOT the typical experience for OTC or easy to draw areas.

    I'd also practice shooting at 400-500 yards. For western hunting you should develop confidence at 400 yards. We now have a 400 yard target, and we sight the 400 yard crosshair (Leupold B&C reticle) at that range, then everything closer is on. You should not sight in at a closer range (100 yards) and then depend on ballistics to make that shot. Longer range shooting make the shorter shots feel like a slam dunk.
    Grand Slam #1005 + 2: Dall (1986 Yukon), Fannin/Stone (1987 Yukon), Bighorn (1988 Colorado Unit S-26), Stone (1995 British Columbia), Desert (2001 Nevada Unit 161), Bighorn (2009 Wyoming Unit 5)

  10. #10
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    I would definitely go back. The more experience you get with the unit, the better.

    UH's advice on practicing the longer shot is spot on. Also, It is excellent advise to finish sighting in a drop reticle at an extended range, and ballistic reticles are at their best at ranges like 400-600 and in.

 

 

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